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FW: Clayton Town Crier -- April 2013

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  • Max Heffler
    Clayton Town Crier -- April 2013
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2013
      Clayton Town Crier -- April 2013


      Clayton Town Crier -- April 2013

      Your source for all the news from Clayton Library
      Volume 6                                                                                                                                Issue 3
      Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research
      5300 Caroline, Houston, TX 77004

      Manager's corner...

      Spring Cleaning and Genealogy – An Opportunity for Discoveries

      This time of year in Houston the weather is often tolerable, (for an area where humidity rules) one can
      say it is almost spring like.  This time of year brings open windows, car washing in the driveway, cleaning out areas of “stuff,” re-organizing this and that, and coming across things that have been accumulated by us or passed down as “heirlooms.”  These “heirlooms” vary in scope, they may be an oven hot pad that was crocheted by great grandma, a piece of memorabilia brought from the old country - or purchased on a trip.  It might be furniture that your parents acquired when they got married and since “they just don’t make it like that anymore” you still move it from house to house.  These artifacts have stories too.  How often do we hold the “heirloom” in our hand and remember the story that was passed down with the piece?  How many pieces do we have that we wish we knew the story, or only know part of the story – yet we still carry the pieces with us through our life because they are “part of our family?”

      As with our own personal family stories – when the ancestor came, where they came from, how they got here, what happened after they arrived, these pieces have a story that should be kept with them, so that their story can be told as they are passed from generation to generation.  When you pull that comforter out to air out, why not write a paragraph or two to store with that blanket of family history?  When you move that piece of glass that came from the old country with great grandma, take a photograph and create a word document with its story.  Keep these stories and photographs electronically with all your other family history and even print out a copy to keep with the item.  There are even commercial companies to help you keep track of the stories of these artifacts of your life.  The Heirloom Registry (https://www.heirloomregistry.com) is one such company.  It offers tags that are attached to your pieces with an online registration service where you can tell the stories of your heirlooms.

      The importance of tangible pieces of our family history is that they create a chain of the physical experience of family that is passed down from generation to generation.  Often we carry these pieces out of “guilt.”  We might not really like the “heirloom” (I really don’t like the clothes dressers I inherited), but because they are a piece of my mother, a piece of her life, they are comforting – they were part of her.   

      So, when you open those boxes and dust off those pieces, why not sit down for a moment, have a glass of lemonade, and write the story of your heirloom.  Those coming after you will be interested in what you leave, and will hopefully be glad when they hold a tangible link to their ancestors in their hand.

      New Materials at Clayton...

      From Clayton to the Grave

      There is an endless array of fascinating tomes waiting to be discovered at Clayton Library.  One such recent addition is Stories in stone New York : a field guide to New York City area cemeteries and their residents by Douglas Keister.  A compact volume, this book features a number of things that will make this book an invaluable resource, such as countless excellent photographs, compelling text, and easy to navigate GPS directions.  The GPS directions are a particular boon, as they point the way to a variety of memorable gravesites that are known for architecture, artistry, or even renowned residents that found their final resting place in New York City.

      On face value, the book is an excellent source for anyone with ancestors who were laid to rest in New York City, as it covers “The Big Four,” which are the four major cemeteries in New York City.  There is also a separate section for Manhattan cemeteries, as well as outer New York resting places.  Any person planning to research the burial plots of their ancestors in any of these regions would be well served to peruse this title.  There is even an added bonus; not only does this book feature a full chapter on historic pet cemeteries entitled “Humane Remains” in the New York City area, it highlights some of the more unusual monuments that should be sought out.

      However, it is in the following pages that this book has a broader appeal.  The chapters “Cemetery Symbolism” and “Secret Societies, Clubs, and Organizations” both offer a pictorial guide and a thoroughly researched explanation of various gravestone features and markers that a researcher might find anywhere in the world.  It is this thoughtful inclusion of pertinent information that the author has collected over years of study that elevates this book from simply being an addition to the New York section to being an excellent acquisition choice for Clayton Library as a whole.  The knowledge contained within these sections alone makes Stories in stone New York a worthy weapon to any genealogist’s arsenal.

      It should be noted that this book is a follow up to Douglas Keister’s previously published work titled Stories in stone : a field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography.  What Stories in Stone New York offers a concise guide on, this book expounds and discusses in greater detail.  This book could easily serve as the seminal work for any researcher seeking more information regarding gravestone symbolism.  Stories in stone set the tone for the quality of work a researcher can expect from this author, and Stories in stone New York does not disappoint.

      For further reading on gravestones and cemetery symbolism, consult the following titles, which are also part of Clayton’s holdings;

      Stories in stone New York : a field guide to New York City cemeteries & their residents - Douglas Keister

      Publisher: Gibbs Smith
      Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/01/2011
      Share Stories in stone New York %3a  a field guide to New York City cemeteries & their residentsISBN-13: 9781423621027
      ISBN-10: 1423621026

      Stories in stone : a field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconography - Douglas Keister

      Publisher: Gibbs Smith, Publisher
      Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/01/2004
      Share Stories in stone %3a  a field guide to cemetery symbolism and iconographyISBN-13: 9781586853211
      ISBN-10: 158685321X

      A field guide to visiting a Jewish cemetery : a spiritual journey to the past, present and future - Joshua L. Segal

      Publisher: Jewish Cemetery Publishing, LLC
      Pub Date: 2007
      Call Number: 393.1088296 S454 USA

      Source limitations.

      Looking for a cemetery online?

      Not all cemeteries may be found online, and not all the graves that are located in a particular cemetery may have been documented online.  Since anyone can submit data on some of the following websites, it is possible that some information on a site may be duplicated or in error.  Most websites don’t show who is listed in the plot with your loved one or in the plots surrounding it, and so it still may be necessary to visit the cemetery in person.  The following sites are some of the largest or best known.  They are merely finding aides however, and of course vital records, records from a funeral home, or even the family Bible may help to further document a loved one’s death.




      Billiongraves (www.billiongraves.com) is a virtual cemetery experience from around the world.  It is a free website, but you register online if you would like to submit information.  There is an upgrade feature with a small charge that allows the site to inform you when surnames you seek in the area that you requested are entered into their website or to see the other tombstones in a plot.

      This free website allows users to:

      1.       Collect photos of headstones with a free application for IPhone or Android phones.  Then upload the GPS-tagged photos to the Billiongraves website.  Quickly and easily!

      2.       Transcribe information from photos that have been uploaded to the website.  This can be done by anyone, with or without a smart phone.  To transcribe, you don’t even have to be the one that uploaded the images to the website.

      3.       Search the free cemetery database using easy search boxes.  Then access tombstone information, tombstone photos and accurate GPS tombstone locations.

      Although there are many tombstone websites, this one is growing at a fast rate.  Individuals as well as groups are adding tombstones from whole cemeteries, rather than just the stones from the individuals they are related to.  Your cemetery may not be listed but if it isn’t, it is easy to request it to be done!



      Findagrave (www.findagrave.com ) is a virtual cemetery experience.  It is a free website but you must register online if you would like to submit information from your personal computer.  The site contains lists of cemeteries and graves from around the world.  Cemeteries in the United States are arranged both by state and county and search boxes will help you begin your search.  The site began with graves of famous people and has evolved to where any burial place can be included.  Besides cemetery and tombstone information, including photos, the site includes memorials.  Queries can be made requesting information on graves not already listed on the site.




      USGenWeb is a free online website that allows users to view or post information.  By going to www.usgwtombstones.org you will go straight to the USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project page.  You then choose the appropriate state and county.  The purpose of the Tombstone Transcription project is to organize volunteers who will work together to create a lasting tribute to our ancestors.  Volunteers transcribe and upload tombstone inscription information.  Some people take photographs of tombstones and then these and photos are uploaded to the website, by either the person that took the photo or the one that oversees the project.  Many cemetery transcriptions are also still listed on the individual county pages on the USGenWeb site.  When you go to the main USGenWeb page (www.USGenWeb.org ) then choose the appropriate state and county and look for the cemetery listings on that county’s page.  Everything on this site it is archived and made accessible to everyone.




      CEMDB (www.cemdb.com) is a free website dedicated to mapping the locations of cemeteries and burial grounds in the United States and around the world.  Their primary goal is to preserve cemeteries by raising public awareness of their existence.  There are many “lost” cemeteries that only a few people know exist.  By adding these “lost” cemeteries to the website this may help to insure maintenance and preservation.  All a person needs to do is go onto the website and see if a cemetery they know about is listed.  If it’s not listed on the website, you can create a free membership for yourself, use the interactive map to zoom to the cemetery and “stick a pin” in the map to add the cemetery.  You then fill in a few fields about the cemetery’s name, etc.  These submissions are then gathered by the owners of the site and submitted to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for inclusion in the Geographic Names Information Service (GNIS).  This makes the cemetery a “found” cemetery.  Help preserve our cemeteries by sharing your “lost” cemeteries on this new but growing website.

      Monthly classes and Other upcoming events...

      Because the Clayton Town Crier is published quarterly, please remember to consult Clayton’s Events webpage (http://www.houstonlibrary.org/clayton) or the Clayton Extra for items not submitted in time to be published in the current Crier.


      Classes are approximately 1 hour, unless otherwise noted.

      Please note Clayton Library along with all HPL locations will be closed on the following days:
      Monday, May 27        Memorial Day (Observed)

      Library Orientation
      Saturday, April 20, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM
      Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM
      Saturday, June 15, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM

      Learn about the vast resources and how to efficiently utilize genealogical research materials housed at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research.

      No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library.  Adult/Teens.

      Everybody’s History
      Saturday, April 6th, 2013 11:00-12:00PM
      Join Reggie Browne, Texas Historical Marker Chairman for Anderson County, as he discusses the resources and methods used to trace his own Confederate lineage surrounding the Civil War era.
      Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

      Discovering and Documenting Your Civil War Soldier
      Saturday, April 6th, 2013 1:30-2:30PM
      The availability of a number of online databases now makes the discovery of a Civil War soldier or sailor being among your ancestors, a much easier task than it might have been even a decade ago.  Brother Tom Coughlin, Junior Vice-Commander, of the Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lea U.S.N. Camp Number 2, Department of Texas, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) will discuss the types of research that can be performed using the resources of the Clayton Library.
      Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

      Documenting My Civil War Ancestors
      Saturday, April 6th, 2013 3:00-4:00PM
      Held by Brother Dr. Steve Holmes, Commander, of the Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lea U.S.N Camp Number 2, Department of Texas, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), this presentation documents the life and times of the speaker’s great grandfather Warren W. White, who served in the 44th Infantry, Company G, United States Colored Troops and later enlisted in the 41st Infantry, Company C, United States Infantry.
      Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

      Research Assistance for Civil War Era Ancestors
      Saturday, April 6th, 2013 11:00-4:00PM
      Need help tracing a Civil War era ancestor?  Local Civil War Society members will be on hand to assist you in your research needs.
      No reservations required, please call 832-393-2600 with any additional questions.  Adults/Teens.

      Library Orientation
      Saturday, April 20, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM

      See above for description.

      No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library.  Adult/Teens.

      Clayton Library Friends General Meeting
      Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:15AM-12:00PM

      Susan Kaufman, manager of Clayton Library will present “The State of Clayton Library,” an annual report to CLF members and friends.

      Registration starts at 10:15AM in the Carriage House meeting room at Clayton Library and the meeting will begin at 10:30AM.

      Library Orientation
      Saturday, May 18, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM

      See above for description.

      No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library.  Adult/Teens.

      Organized or Trashed?  Let’s Get Organized!
      Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:30AM-12:00PM

      Do you search but still can’t find that elusive document when you need it?  Do you make copies and discover that you already had it?  Learn the most important reasons why you need to organize your work.  The second part of the presentation is a class discussion of ways to organize.  Bring an example of your organizational system to share with others in the class.

      Reservations required.  Adults/Teens

      Library Orientation
      Saturday, June 15, 2013 10:30AM-11:45AM

      See above for description.

      No reservations needed, meet at the Information Desk in the library.  Adult/Teens.

      Quick Start your Genealogy!  Overview of Genealogical Research Tools
      Saturday, June 15, 1:30PM-3:30PM

      • 1:30PM-2:00PM HPL Catalog
      • 2:10PM-3:20PM Ancestry Library Edition; FamilySearch

      Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

      City Directories
      Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:30AM-12:00PM
      Have you ever wondered why people use city directories in genealogy?  Learn how they can be useful in your research, how to use them effectively and where they may be found today.
      Reservations required, please call 832-393-2600.  Adults/Teens.

      Additional information about Clayton Library

      Hours of operation:
      Monday: Closed
      Tuesday: 10am - 6pm
      Wednesday: 10am - 8pm
      Thursday: 10am - 6pm

      Friday and Saturday: 10am - 5pm

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